Growing water imbalance requires a systematic development process to enable the agriculture sector to address what it faces as challenges. However, the overall longevity and efficiency of developed infrastructure become doubtful if water users are not involved in the development process. Thus, the assessment of the impact of irrigation improvement on all sides of the management, including smallholders, is fundamental. The paper investigates the impact of irrigation improvement on farmers’ satisfaction with transferred water services in the Old Lands in Egypt. A counterfactual analysis, relying on four alternative estimation methods, is introduced to measure the average treatment effect of irrigation improvement on farmers’ perceptions of reliability, flexibility and equity of the water service. Such indicators’ selection was planned under the assumption that combined social and engineering-based approaches to impact assessments are more suitable to represent the perspectives of all stakeholders. The results of the analysis are consistent and show that increases in perceptions are positive and significant in each case, as the result of the improvement. The paper argues that modern infrastructure framed in successful co-management can work towards a mutual interest.